For those of you who aren’t aware, I launched my new dog trainer online course website, Raising Canine in 2013. A project three years in the making! Because it’s been such a long and arduous process, I thought I’d share my thought process with you.
When I started this incarnation of Raising Canine, I planned on addressing education for all companion animals (i.e., dogs, cats, parrots and horses). While keeping my dog trainer online course, I also recruited speakers for various species and do have a nice selection of cat and parrot courses. During this process, I realized that my business name, Raising Canine, was not helping me when it came to the other species offerings, so I decided to change my name. After some thought, I came up with the name “Animal Ed.”
Changing my name from Raising Canine to Animal Ed was an emotionally difficult transition, as I love the name Raising Canine, and it is a well-known name in our industry. However, I decided this is a business decision – not an emotional decision – so I decided to gird my loins and do it. I used Animal Ed for about a year, and even put out one major product using that name – Cara Shannon’s DVD, “Bad to the Bone.”
After about a year, I took a look at my financials and decided that I would be better served targeting dog trainers, rather than consultants for other species. I wasn’t as well known with other species as I was with my dog trainer online course, and I didn’t have the contacts to create a rich and varied selection of educational offerings, as I did with dogs. So, I decided to go back to Raising Canine. What a mess! However, I’m very glad I made that decision, even if it was bit of a sticky wicket.
So, the moral of this story is, market narrowly and deliver broadly. Does this seem to be a recurring theme with me? I have a lot of really great education for dog trainers; however, probably half (or more!) of that education applies equally to consultants of other species. So, I’ll target dog trainers and if cat consultants want to learn from my offerings, great! I’m happy to oblige.